Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cry Baby

Olivia, post tears

Assignment: Try my best not to eat my daughter whole because I can't get enough of her!

On our apartment elevators, we have a movie ad posted; a lady's face with a tear streaming down her cheek.
Olivia looks for this poster as soon as we get on the elevator, every day.
Then she looks at me, which is my cue to start crying, for her entertainment.
Like putty in her hands, I start heaving heavy "sobs" despite which neighbours are on the elevator with us!
At this point, she puts her head on my chest and hugs my arm with her little hand.

I melt..every time!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Is There a Farmer in the House?

The farmer picks a wife
(Cambodia, 2010. Seven weeks pregnant:)

The wife picks the child

Assignment: Honouring the farmer in the father

Dada grew up on a cattle farm.
He is a cow expert.
From the time we got pregnant, he could not help himself but to compare pregnancy, the natural birthing process and even nursing...with cows.

It became a running joke in our house, when I decided it was useless to take offense. Actually, his bovine comparisons were really no different than the books I was reading on childbirth!

Now as a father, the cow connoisseur is full force.
Cows do not actually say 'moo', but make a nasally groaning noise. I am being taught to perfect this sound, dare I substitute "moo" for the actual sound. It should be noted, Olivia cracks up when I make my best attempt:)

Then there is the 'animal game'.
Each day I divide Olivia's animals according to their habitat (farm, jungle, ocean) and hide a set for her to find on her house excursions.
I caught Dada setting up the game last week.
"Okay Olivia. Today's animals will be classed according to which ones you can eat."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Books are for reading...not for eating"

Olivia and Dada enjoying a book with binding intact..for the time being!

Assignment: Preparing board books for their fate

When the lovely board books step over our threshold, I try to give them fair warning about their fate. They will be knawed on, binding tastes best, lift-the-flaps are easier to mangle and a little chunky cardboard is no match for tiny teeth. Hubby and I repeat a thousand times a day
"Books are for reading, not for eating."
These words fall on teeny ears of our paper connoisseur! She will take the time to look our way and giggle as she opens wide for another mouthful;)

Board books are a brilliant creation; allowing babies to be tactile with their first forms of literature.
Olivia sure thinks so!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Green Up

Olivia enjoying the view: Dada's sago's and strawberries

Assignment: 'Greening' up your house for family life

We live in a big city.
Let me elaborate.
We live in a big city in China.

As a vegan, 'hippie' at heart, married to a farmers son (neither vegan or hippie!), a big city is not where we belong.
But for the time being we are here and with an important purpose, so we are doing our best to stay green where it may seem most challenging;
A big city in China.

Before baby arrived, we vowed to make smarter purchases. Albeit, often more expensive, but in these cases, less is truly more; a few cloth diapers, wooden or fabric toys, some organic produce...
Books are priceless purchases and we buy them without working them into a budget. The family Green Thumb (hint: it's not me!) is building a beautiful balcony garden. With some imagination, we have even made some cool things in lieu of buying the market version (full-sized tee pee, wooden play kitchen, canvas art, felt food...)

Our biggest dilemma in the 'going greener' department comes with the fast-approaching date of baby's first birthday & Christmas close behind; avoiding gift overload. Great we want to be greener, but how do we get Grandma to take this seriously? How do we implement a 'book or best wishes only' rule, to actually be followed?

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Little thing has giggles.
She giggles all day long.
Telling herself little joke's,
As she giggles like a song.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

'Yes' Mom

Examining the pined-for lens cap giving mom enough time to take the shot;)

Assignment: Saying "yes" as much as possible. Saying 'no' for good reasons.

A bit of a challenge, but we are trying to limit saying 'no' to Olivia. Sometimes I have to catch myself about to say 'no' for no apparent reason (somehow 'no' comes out so easily!). Turns out is becoming easier to say yes. Once she has discovered something and examined it like a little scientist, she is happily on her way to the next experiment. Otherwise, that one thing I said 'no' to is the ONLY thing she persues all day' making both of us frustrated and tired. Unless the temptation is a danger to baby, usually there is just no good reason to say 'no'.

Not that I am referring to spoiling (buying/giving things) and there are times that 'yes' comes with a condition, but it still beats a flat out 'no'.

Saying 'yes' means, "go ahead and examine the alarm clock, remote control and telephone."
The next day, there is lots to laugh about as 'yes' bites us in the bum.
This morning our normally silent alarm clock went off at 5am, the AC was blasting at an unusually freezing temp and the telephone called me back after I hung up!
Child seems to have a gift for programming our electronics!